By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — Given that “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” thoroughly dominate virtually every one of today’s conversations, it’s worth remembering that – as shocking as it is – the nation as a whole has been familiar with those terms for only the last few months.
Stations in all formats are stepping up coverage of what has become a pandemic; however, spoken-word outlets are naturally leading the way.
Thus, for (at least) the next several months, our “Extra” coverage of each PPM sweep will detail month-to-month shifts among news/talk; all-news; public radio news/talk; and sports talk stations. Regarding the latter, with the cancellation/postponement of NBA, NHL, and MLB games (as well as signature sports events such as March Madness, Kentucky Derby, etc.), it will be interesting to see what fluctuations (if any) occur in sports talk.
These “Extra” overviews will supplement our detailed analyses via individual format scoreboards, which will be posted as usual.
We are beginning with the February 2020 ratings period (January 30 – February 26).
For timeline/context purposes only (and not in any way meant as a political commentary), the President – at a February 28 South Carolina rally – referred to what was becoming accelerated mention of coronavirus (if not COVID-19 itself) as a “hoax.” That was two days after the final day of the February sweep. As a result, “coronavirus” was certainly in mainstream discussions at that time and could have influenced radio listening.
News/talk and all-news stations (including business news) appearing with at least a .1 (6+) in the February 2020 sweep are noted below, while the threshold for inclusion by public radio news/talk and sports talk stations is a top 20 ranking (6+).
Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations subscribing to its services. As a result, ratings stats in this analysis are limited to facilities paying that company for its information.
Email managing editor Mike Kinosian at Kinosian@TALKERS.com